"I've got to live through it; there's not much else you can do. They found it, you have it and are stuck with it."
It was about three months ago when Mike Radig, an incoming senior at Estherville Lincoln Central, received the diagnosis that he has non-metastatic Ewing's Sarcoma.
He is the son of Ron and Kim (Hunter) and grandson of Kenneth and Rosina Hunter and Roger and Judy Radig.
Ewing's Sarcoma is a rare disease where cancer cells are found in the bone or in soft tissue. Common areas in which it occurs are the pelvis, femur, humerus and ribs.
His mother explained it was in the spring when he developed a pain in his left leg that progressively worsened. It was in May when his physician, having taken an X-ray, detected a tumor in Mike's pelvis. A CT Scan was taken for confirmation. The local physicians referred him to Rochester where a second CT Scan was secured. The family was told the soft-tissue cancer was confined to the tumor.
At this time, the physicians are opting to forego surgery because of the close proximity of the tumor to the bladder and spine.
"We were told this type of cancer is highly sensitive to radiation and it should eradicate it," Kim explained.
Mike is also continuing with his chemotherapy and has completed six of the 14 scheduled cyles.
An MRI was ordered in mid-August. This test shows the tumor had shrunk to a size of 8.4 by 8.4 centimeters from 10.2 by 10. "The doctors were happy and said everything is going well," Kim noted.
Thinking back, Mike said he didn't think much of the pain because he is an active runner and skateboarder. "My leg was just sore and I thought I overdid it. But then the pain went into my foot which tingled and was affecting my motion."
That was when he went to the doctor's office. "I never expected this but I knew something was not right with my leg. It was when the doctors checked it out, they found the mass."
He said his family and friends are being very supportive. It is obvious how much he appreciates the support of his skateboarder friends-they shaved their heads for Mike!
A benefit is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 30 to help offset the costs of his regular trips to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., for his chemotherapy treatments and additional testing.
The menu includes shredded pork sandwiches, potato salad, bars, pop, lemonade and coffee. The benefit will be held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, 409 N. Sixth St., Estherville, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
A silent auction will also be conducted at the benefit and the winners will be announced close to 1 p.m.